In China, by far the largest holiday is the Lunar New Year, which is called the Spring Festival or “Chun Jie” in Chinese. It is based on the lunar calendar, so it doesn’t happen on the same day each year. It occurs around the end of January or the first of February, and this year it will take place on the 28th of January.
Some of the main customs surrounding Chun Jie are cleaning your home, eating jaozi (dumplings), and parents giving a child a red envelope full of money. This is called a “hong bao.” A couple of the lesser known traditions would involve getting a haircut and taking a shower to wash away anything bad. And as you can imagine, there will be lots of fireworks all day and night surrounding their holiday!
Many people also receive an extended vacation to celebrate this huge holiday. In fact, it is known as the largest annual migration of people, when all of the city workers travel back to their rural hometowns to visit their families!
This new year will be called the year of the rooster. I am told that the rooster has some good qualities like being a hard worker and not lazy! I hope you enjoy these pictures I just took during my latest trip to China, as they were starting to prepare for celebrating the new year of the rooster!
Happy Year of the Rooster!